I wanted to do a bit of customization on my takamine g-series 12 string. I like the pickguards size and shape but wanted to do some hummingbird style design. (I think that is the most well know example)

I can't upload pictures from work, so here is the best one i can find.

the pickguard on gibsons acoustic page

I might just modify the wheat one, but i wanted to see what ideas you guys have

here is the hummingbird if you need a freshening up on it

Oh and where does one get this kind of work done? Any DIY methods?
It could probably be done by anyone with a CNC router....
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^ or a dremel tool and an exacto knife. You can use some slow setting epoxy and mix it with eye shadow for the inlay - whatever color you want. Take the pickguard off the guitar and cut out your design and make sure the edges are clean with the exacto knife. Mask the top of the pickguard really well, and turn it over. Mix the epoxy and makeup and pour it onto the pickguard and scrape it level with a razor blade and buff off the residue once it sets. It's a really easy way to do a custom inlay. Or even easier, buy a sticker!!

Good Luck!!
This seems dangerous. I don't think ripping off your old pickgaurd is a good idea. I second stickers.
^ It is actually quite safe AS LONG AS YOU DO IT RIGHT!

I don't remember the exact method, but it is something to the effect of placing a damp cloth over the pickguard, then using an iron to heat up and melt the glue. The guard will just pull right off.

I don't know if that is the exact method though, so don't take my word for it.
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I've removed pickguards a couple of times, it is as simple as using a hair dyer to warm it up and working a bit of fishing line behind it to loosen it. If you do it slowly and carefully you can often re-use the same pickguard on a different guitar if you want.

The only problem you may run into is that the finish may be a slightly different shade under the pickguard, meaning your new one will need to be sure to cover the entire area the old one did. I made that mistake the first time I did it. I cut a perfect Gibson Songbird style pickguard out of some 3M material, rounded the eges, sharpend the corners and it looked great, problem was you could see a different shade of finish at a couple of the edges once I put it on the guitar. To avoid this problem I would say to remove the old pickguard before you design the shape of the new one to be sure to cover up any differences in shade.
Thanks guys! I'm mostly having trouble designing it now. I think ill get a pick gaurd with the same shape bu maybe a small bit larger to cover up the finish differences.
There will be a tan line regardless of whether or not the guitar is old. Even guitars from factory will have some sort of tan line. But yeah, its actually not very dangerous as long as you're careful. Removing a pickguard is a simple job.
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